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Comment: Re:This isn't scaremongering. (Score 5, Informative) 440

by Richard_at_work (#47927845) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

but the downside for the UK with sterlingisation is that Scotland would not be liable for any share of the UK accumulated debt.

I'm afraid you have fallen in Salmonds trap - debt and currency are two entirely separate things, they are not linked in any manner and while Scotland can *refuse* to take its share of debt, that refusal is not automatic based on not taking the currency.

A countries debt is denominated in the currency that country uses, but its not linked to it in any other way.

If Scotland do refuse to take its share, then it will have a poorer credit rating on the international funds markets because of it.

The Treasure have already confirmed that the debt belongs to the UK and only the UK.

No, what the Treasury did was confirm that the entirety of the debt was safe, it would be serviced by the UK even in the event that Scotland refused to take its share - they did this because it eliminated pre-referendum uncertainty about the financial situation, and prevented pre-emptive financial issues surrounding borrowing rates when lenders refuse to lend to the pre-referendum UK on the basis that it may not get its money back.

Again you have fallen into Salmonds trap by accepting his statements at face value - the UK just guaranteed the entirety of the debt, but that doesn't have any standing as to exonerating Scotland from its share when it comes to post-referendum negotiations. This isn't the school yard here.

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 2) 440

by Richard_at_work (#47927411) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

The UK can't refuse to have a currency union in practice. It might go as far as the European courts or other international bodies, but the currency is basically as much theirs as it is the rest of the UK's.

Actually the rUK can refuse a currency union, and it will - there is nothing stopping it, and no foreign court has jurisdiction here. There is nothing stopping Scotland from *using* Sterling as its currency, but that's not what's being discussed here as I said in my earlier post - Salmond wants a seat at the table when it comes to Sterling fiscal policy, while none of the Westminster parties want to sit next to him, because they do not want to be beholden to a second economy when setting fiscal policy for the rUK.

That's what this discussion is all about. Why should Westminster have to share fiscal decision making with an "independent" Scotland?

Go ahead and use Sterling as the thing you use to buy and sell things - but you aren't getting a seat at the Bank of England table.

Infact, Salmond could quite easily take the entirety of the Bank of England and Sterling with him, but that won't solve his issue - it doesn't get him a stable currency because the Bank of England will no longer be backed by the Westminster treasury, and as the Bank of Englands assets would still be sliced up as before, he wouldn't get any more money with which to base his lender of last resort on.

What Salmond is after when he says "I want a currency union" is actually "I want a backing lender that I can rely on to bail me out regardless, but I don't want to set up my own backing lender because that is costly and would mean I would have to renege on my taxation promises, and anyway said new backing lender would not have the standing on the international financial markets because of its lack of history and backing of an established economic policy and government treasury, so what I actually need is a backing lender linked to the Westminster government. Crap."

Problem is, the voters don't understand the complexities of all that and simply believe Salmond...

If the vote is yes then the rest of the UK will negotiate a union because it's in their best interests. Otherwise investors are going to start pulling out of the UK fast because if Scotland doesn't keep Sterling the rest of the UK's debt will increase massively in proportion. Sterling would also lose many of the assets it is valued against, like North Sea oil.

Investors aren't going to go anywhere, because the financial worth of the City of London far outweighs the potential revenue of the north sea oil - don't get me wrong, that oil revenue is a nice to have, but it won't break the rUK not to have it. The bulk of the GDP of the UK resides outside Scotland, so we aren't in anywhere near as much of a sticky place as you think we are, especially as most large Scottish financial institutes will have to move south of the border to satisfy EU and WTO regulations.

Sharing fiscal policy with a brand new government, one that has to find its legs, sort out internal taxation, find the balance of its people etc - thats not something we want as a country, because all that brings uncertainty and instability. Salmond can have all of that, we will just get on with our own fiscal responsibilities thanks.

I also don't see how the rUKs debt will "increase massively in proportion" - if Salmond tries to make good on his threat of not taking Scotlands portion of the national debt, then the fledgling Scottish treasury will have a fairly poor international credit rating, right at the time it needs to be borrowing in order to set up its central bank.

Don't fall into the trap of believing Salmond and his supporters when they link a currency union to debt - a countries debt is not linked to the currency that country uses, its an entirely separate thing. It might be denominated in that currency for the purposes of reporting, but it isn't linked to it - it doesn't magically go away if the UK stopped using Sterling, and it doesn't mean that Salmond can legitimately refuse to take the Scottish share of debt without a currency union.

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 5, Interesting) 440

by Richard_at_work (#47926105) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Its not the Bank of Englands assets that Salmond wants, its the Bank of England itself. He wants to be able to retain the BoE as a lender of last resort, while maintaining a say in how Sterling fiscal policy is created - inflation controls, interest rates, ability to borrow at a base rate etc etc etc.

Without the BoE, Scotland would need to set up its own lender of last resort, or risk having less foreign investment as Scottish banks have to borrow on the standard market, which is a lot more expensive.

There is no positive to the rest of the UK to allow an independent Scotland to continue to have access to the BoE in the capacity it wants to, which is why the Westminster government parties have all ruled it out - Salmond mean while continually pushes the fact that "Ireland was allowed to have a currency union with the UK when it was granted independence in the 1920s" but ignores the fact that the Republic of Ireland did not actually have a currency union as it had no say in fiscal policy in the few short years where it actually used Sterling as its currency, it simply just used Sterling like any person on the street does. Then they pegged the Irish Pound to Sterling for the next 50 or so years, again with minimal fiscal decision making as a result.

Salmonds other argument is that Scotland cannot be held liable for any debt that the rest of the UK has already acknowledged responsibility for, which Westminster did the first time Salmond made his threat because any doubt over that would cause fiscal policy difficulties with foreign markets - but that doesn't mean foreign lenders cannot view Scotland as a higher risk as a result, because it is after all refusing to take a portion of the debt it helped create.

Whatever happens, Friday is going to be very very interesting - if its a "Yes" then Salmond starts making his demands and then runs into difficulties where he insisted there wouldn't be any (currency union, which he has insisted all along would happen, despite being told time and again that it wouldn't, and membership of the EU, which Salmond has again insisted would be nearly instant while major EU politicians and leaders have said a newly independent Scotland would be required to apply to join as a new member state, the same as any other new member state seeking membership).

If its a "No", Salmond won't back down but will probably use it to fuel more dissent toward Westminster, insisting on another referendum in the near future.

Ho hum, the weekend is going to be fun.

Comment: Re:Here in Massachusetts (Score 1) 148

by Richard_at_work (#47915551) Attached to: Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

Interesting to see that version of history making the rounds - the pilgrims weren't kicked out of England for anything, they left because they felt they didn't have the freedom to oppress their group members under English law. So they went somewhere with no laws.

Comment: Re:It's a bad sign (Score 1) 223

by Richard_at_work (#47887851) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

Both the Libertarian Party and Green Party have promised to put a stop to the spying.

Of course they have, its called pandering to the masses. The masses want the spying to stop, so promise that. These parties know they will never have to actually do anything about it because they know they will never make the landslide gains needed to actually govern - but then their goals are not to form a government, but to increase the parties reach, so even a single additional seat does that.

And you are falling right into their hands.

Comment: Re:I was promised "some sort of open source" (Score 4, Insightful) 368

by Richard_at_work (#47869759) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Good luck taking some vague hand wavy statements as evidence in any court case or consumer complaint. So, did he ever outline what a "minimum time" would be? 10 years? 50 years? His lifetime?

If its not written into the license you received when you purchased the product, its all too easy to dismiss in court.

Comment: Re:Why buy Amazon hardware? (Score 1) 134

You can argue that all you want, buts its an incredibly twisted argument - basically your argument boils down to "Amazons hardware is more restrictive because Apple doesn't release stuff for it" which, while its true that Apple won't ever release it, doesn't mean they cannot do it (its fairly trivial to write something for the Fire series, its an Android device!).

Comment: Re:Why buy Amazon hardware? (Score 1) 134

I can buy an iPad and buy music and books and merchandise from Amazon. I cannot buy a Kindle and buy music from Apple. So I have less restrictions buying the Apple hardware than the Amazon hardware because Amazon software and content will run on more platforms.

Yeah, that isn't *ever* going to change because it would require Apple to do it, and they won't as you point out. So I don't have it backward at all.

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